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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Explaining protein structures through artworks

Published: 14 November 2014
Dr Halina Mikolajek

Research Fellow Dr Halina Mikolajek combines art with science to spread the word about structural biology.

Her original textile-based artwork is now on display at Southampton’s Harbour Lights cinema. The exhibition Visible to the Invisible illustrating proteins, genes and other biological structures through stitching and felt will run until Tuesday 9 December.

“I enjoy communicating what I do as a scientist, working with hidden natural worlds, to a wider audience through these artworks,” she says. “I use thread as my pen or brush to demonstrate to people the vital molecular connections in the human body, normally invisible to the human eye.”

Alongside her research into biological science, Halina started working with felt in 2008 then decided to focus on scientific subjects and took space in a studio collective in Southampton. She is delighted Harbour Lights agreed to show her work and plans to move the display to other venues after the cinema exhibition closes, both within the University of Southampton and other communities.

At the Centre for Biological Sciences, Halina researches protein structure and ligand interactions using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), X-ray crystallography and Isothermal Titration Calorimetry (ITC). She also teaches first year students and supervises undergraduates and postgraduates.

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